RECAP: McMorris Rodgers Kicks Off August Work Period, Makes Stops in Spokane and Deer Park

Aug 01, 2023

Spokane, Wash. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today kicked off the August work period in Spokane where she visited Jubilant HollisterStier’s medical manufacturing facility and toured one of the smart homes Matt’s Place Foundation has built for individuals with ALS. She also traveled to Deer Park to meet with community leaders and discuss the issues the community is facing today.

Details and photos from these public events, as well as a preview of the remainder of this week’s schedule, are below.

Medical Innovation Starts in Eastern Washington

Cathy began her day with a tour of Jubilant HollisterStier’s medical manufacturing facility in Spokane. This facility specializes in the manufacturing of sterile injectables, ophthalmics, and sterile and non-sterile topicals and liquids. During her visit, she saw how the company is expanding its footprint by building a 160 square foot addition that is expected to accommodate as many as 250 new employees here in the community. She also saw firsthand some of the new and innovative technology being used to keep humans and physical touch out of the sterilization process, improving patient safety. 

She was joined by Jubilant HollisterStier CEO Chris Preti, as well as team members Kirk Wood-Gaines, Amanda May, Vincent Villegas, and Greg Benzel.

Building Homes for People with ALS

Next, Cathy visited a home built by Matt’s Place Foundation, a non-profit organization that has built two homes for families living with ALS. This home, which was built in partnership with BERG and Vaagan Timbers, uses state-of-the-art smart technology to help the families battling ALS live with dignity and independence.

During her tour, Cathy got to see current resident Ryan Riddock show off some of the unique tools in the home, including technology that allows him to control his computer and cell phone with his mouth!

She also met with some of the wonderful people who made this project possible: Theresa Whitlock-Wild (Matt’s Place), Dr. Ken Isaacs (Gleason Institute for Neuroscience), and Andy Barrett (Tool Box).

Meeting with Deer Park Community Leaders

Cathy finished her day in Deer Park where she met with community leaders to give an update on her work in the People’s House since the last time they got together. She also received a briefing on what city officials have been focusing on, as well as some of the challenges they are facing, including the need for funding for critical infrastructure projects to account for rapid population growth in the area, the importance of prioritizing a parent’s right to engage in their child’s education, and how the Medicare system can be strengthened. 

Cathy was joined at the meeting by:

  • Tim Verzal, Deer Park Mayor
  • Jason Upchurch, Deer Park Councilman
  • Caleb Stapp, Deer Park Councilman 
  • Erica Whitmore, Deer Park FFA Teacher
  • Doug Knight, Knight Construction
  • Darold Schultz, Deer Park Airport 
  • Bev Roberts, Deer Park PT 
  • Peggy Coyle, 7 Cs Construction 
  • Kelsie Carlson, Picket Fence owner, Chamber board member 
  • Josh Walters, WF General Contractors 
  • Howard Johnson, Assistant Fire Chief
  • Mike Nokes, Assistant Fire Chief
  • Roger Krieger, Community Services Director


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